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Matt Reimann
Reader, specializing in Twentieth Century and contemporary fiction. Committed to spreading an infectious passion for literature, language, and stories.

Recent Posts:

The Quintessential Swiss-ness of Johanna Spyri's Heidi

By Matt Reimann. Nov 28, 2018. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Children's Books

As of this writing, some 50 million copies of Johanna Spyri’s Heidi have been sold. A precursor to children’s book heroines from Pippi Longstocking to Eloise, Heidi has earned herself a place in countless childhood memories. Intelligent, caring, effervescent, often in the face of considerable challenges, it is not so hard to see why Heidi continues to be beloved by millions. Amid such artful successes, it can be easy to forget what its author Johanna Spyri contributed to the culture and posterity of her native Switzerland.

     
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Five of the Best Western Novels

By Matt Reimann. Mar 22, 2018. 9:00 AM.

Topics: American History

In place of Romulus and Remus, of Ra and Isis, Americans created two popular mythic heroes: the superhero and the cowboy. While the superhero has only grown in its capacity as one of the United States’ most recognizable cultural exports (and as cinema’s most lucrative subject), the Western genre has diminished in status, falling from the wide popularity on television it enjoyed as recently as 40 years ago. The shift has come with justifiable reason, as an increasingly skeptical audience finds it hard to identify heroism within a violent environment built on the deliberate extermination of the American Indian, and other historical crimes.

     
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The Books That Made Oscar-Winning Movies

By Matt Reimann. Mar 3, 2018. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Movie Tie-Ins

Every solitary professional novelist, whether she is aware of the fact or not, is a kind of trial balloon for the movie industry. Before studios spend millions of dollars—sometimes hundreds of millions—on actors, directors, crew, locations, distribution, and more, they prefer to have proof that a particular story resonates with an audience. Successful plays are often adapted, with movies like Driving Miss Daisy and Hamlet being notable Best Picture winners of this sort. But prose, in the form of memoirs, nonfiction books, novels, and short stories, appears to be the most fertile ground for Hollywood when it comes to seizing the next big idea.

     
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Four Interesting Facts About John Steinbeck

By Matt Reimann. Feb 27, 2018. 9:00 AM.

Topics: American Literature, Legendary Authors

There were only two authors whose work I encountered in each year of high school: Shakespeare and John Steinbeck. His novellas like The Pearl and Of Mice and Men, his novels The Grapes of Wrath and East of Eden, even his inspiring Nobel address, informed my burgeoning understanding of what an American writer sought to accomplish and examine. Steinbeck turned his attention and sympathy toward that majority of people—those who toil, who care for their family, who seek joy and exaltation in however rare supply those delights may be. His style, mixing the merits of both American plainspokenness and figurative language, comforts me whenever I need to pull something off the shelf.

     
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In Their Own Words: Books to Be Inspired by on President's Day

By Matt Reimann. Feb 19, 2018. 9:00 AM.

Topics: American History, American Literature

The British have had ripe occasion recently to appreciate a leader whose oratory and philosophy were integral to his ability to improve the world. With movies like Dunkirk and Darkest Hour and TV shows like The Crown, memories of Winston Churchill, winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature, sting all the more sharply as they are juxtaposed against what many view as the failures of some of our current leaders to live up to truly noble aspirations. It's always good to remember our presidents and statesmen who led with a certain moral obligation, integrity of character, humanistic concern, and displayed a talent for language.

     
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A Brief History of Robots in Literature

By Matt Reimann. Jan 25, 2018. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Science Fiction, Book History

The Czech writer Karel Čapek introduced the world to the word robot, by way of his play, RUR, (Rossum’s Universal Robots) in 1920. The name, deriving from robotnik, Czech for “forced worker,” has been used since by countless high-minded writers and storytellers to answer two principal questions: What would civilization look like if androids liberated humans from the work they perform today? And would these androids ever be exploited by their creators, or develop competing interests of their own? Though some authors, of course, have been less ambitious, answering the more simple question: What if a character happened to be made out of nuts, bolts, and software, or perhaps synthetic flesh?

     
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Sweet Melodies: What Famous Writers Have to Say About Music

By Matt Reimann. Dec 13, 2017. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Literature, Music

Kazuo Ishiguro, this year’s winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature, pinned his hopes to music before he committed himself to the novel. He abandoned this ambition as a young man, but nonetheless managed to carve space for himself to write lyrics for musicians like Stacey Kent. “One of the key things I learnt writing lyricsand this had an enormous influence on my fiction,” Ishiguro told The Guardian in 2015, “was that with an intimate, confiding, first-person song, the meaning must not be self-sufficient on the page. It has to be oblique, sometimes you have to read between the lines.”

     
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Twelve of Leo Tolstoy's Most Brilliant Quotes

By Matt Reimann. Nov 28, 2017. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Literature

Few authors are as widely revered as Leo Tolstoy. Many regard him as the quintessential novelist, if not the best writer to ever work with the form. His reputation remains bolstered by an abundance of superlatives, often from most accomplished peers: James Joyce called “How Much Land Does a Man Need?” “the greatest story that the literature of the world knows,” while Virginia Woolf declared him “the greatest of all novelists.” It is settled, then—Tolstoy writes incredible stories. But how does his work stand up to quotation?

     
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Ten Quotes From Margaret Atwood, an Oracle of Our Time

By Matt Reimann. Nov 18, 2017. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Literature

Readers have adored Margaret Atwood since her debut novel, The Edible Woman, animated the anxieties and torments of contemporary female life. Ever since, Atwood has continued to write first-rate fiction, exploring themes of feminism, oppression, dystopia, and environmental disaster, earning her a dedicated and enthusiastic readership. The times have only caught up with her, vindicating those concerns and speculative scenarios that seemed excessively alarmist forty, thirty, or even five years ago. It is no wonder that in her long career, Atwood is probably more famous than she has ever been, now with a smash adaptation of her 1985 novel, The Handmaid’s Tale, on Hulu. As not only a storyteller but an oracle, she was the subject of a profile in The New Yorker this spring, which called her “the prophet of dystopia,” while those at Vox have lauded her as “the voice of 2017.”

     
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Ten Memorable Quotes From Pippi Longstocking Author Astrid Lindgren

By Matt Reimann. Nov 14, 2017. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Children's Books

When Astrid Lindgren wrote Pippi Longstocking in 1945, she created a character that would captivate children the world over. Ever since, young readers of all generations have been charmed by the preternaturally strong, independent, and daring young redhead. The supervision-less, irreverent character scandalized a few readers in Lindgren’s day, who determined the anarchic protagonist a poor role model, but Pippi’s charm won out. Lindgren’s work has since been translated into dozens of languages and sold over 80 million copies.

     
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How can I identify a first edition? Where do I learn about caring for books? How should I start collecting? Hear from librarians about amazing collections, learn about historic bindings or printing techniques, get to know other collectors. Whether you are just starting or looking for expert advice, chances are, you'll find something of interest on blogis librorum.

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